Our Divers Experience

Nicki Higginbotham –  GUE Fundamentals Rec Pass Graduate

nickiI met Kathy on my first ocean dive in Jupiter, as a freshly certified open water diver. I couldn’t ask for a better instructor. She made me feel comfortable, always had encouraging words when I needed them, and her patience is outstanding. She presents course material in an easy-to-understand way.  She answers any questions I had prior to class and continues to be supportive after I finished. Her commitment to make you a better diver is 100%.
GUE training improves your diving in many ways. One very important lesson is the sdrillvalue of looking out for your buddy to become a team. On two occasions during our surface GUE EDGE pre dive check, our partner team discovered minor issues that could have turned into bigger problems during a longer deeper dive.
During class I improved many skills including my propulsion techniques, the backward kick as well as the helicopter turn. The class is structured to allow for repetitive drill practice, which helps your brain integrate the drills into lasting muscle memory.  Too often with other training agencies, new skills are reduced to a single attempt at practice and then you are expected to be good to go.

I can highly recommend GUE Fundamentals! It teaches all the necessary skills to turn you into a diver that is in control, a diver that can avoid damaging tender aquatic plants, stirring up sand and most of all is aware of your surroundings and your team.



Charles Leikauf – GUE Fundamentals Rec Pass Graduate

charles 2Often times when I start a new endeavor, I am unsure about the result, or the experience to ensue. Let me tell you this, if Kathy Dicker has anything to do with it, you can be sure you are going to learn, have fun, and most importantly you are going to be safe.

I was initially drawn to GUE because of their track record for developing divers who are safe, stable and confident in the water. After doing some research into GUE and their global missions of education, conversation and exploration, I was thoroughly impressed, although I was not sure if it was for me or not.

After meeting Kathy on a dive boat in South Florida, I could see the passion for diving that Kathy had.  The in water skills that she demonstrated were beyond comprehension.  From that moment, I knew that I had to take the charlesplunge.

Initially starting the Fundamental course, I realized that there was a lot of material to learn, and I had many skills to develop, but Kathy’s excellent teaching skills made the experience great. Not only did Kathy explain everything multiple ways, she was able to go the extra mile to work with everyone in the class, regardless of their skill level. I can confidently say that after taking the Fundamentals course, not only am I a much better diver, I am a much better dive buddy.

After taking the class with Kathy and earning my recreational pass, she has encouraged me to come back and earn a technical pass. Along with the class and mentorship, Kathy has been amazing when it comes to networking divers together, she introduced me to the global GUE community, and I am never at a loss when it comes to looking for safe and skilled dive buddies as well as new friends.

If you are new, and unsure if GUE is for you, if you want to become a safer diver and enjoy diving more, I highly recommend GUE and Kathy as your instructor.



John S. – GUE Fundamentals Rec Pass Graduate

Safety has always been my number one priority while diving. After diving with some less than safe people, I decided to seek out the best way of doing things.  That’s when I met Kathy and GUE. It was a perfect fit and exactly what I was looking for! A system of diving that limits risk while not taking away any of the enjoyment of the sport.

As an instructor, Kathy is quite good.  She gave me direction and purpose in my progression as a diver, instead of just jumping in the water and “winging it.” The techniques and procedures I learned are extraordinarily helpful on every dive.  I learned more in Fundamentals class than in all the other certification classes combined. As a result, I’m a much better and safer diver today.  I’m eagerly awaiting the time when I can get more GUE training!


jay and john

Jay Vollman- GUE Fundamentals Rec Pass Graduate

Going into GUE recreational fundamentals I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m only 18 with no more than 40 open water dives, all of which were paired up with random buddies.  I want to tech and cave dive in the future so decided that Fundies is the place to start to reach my goal, as I plan to progress through GUE. Since successfully completing the class, I can say that it was an amazing experience! It was hugely rewarding, made me a much better diver and team member, but it wasn’t easy.

Kathy is an amazing instructor who is extremely passionate about diving. Through the class I learned so much more about diving and myself. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. After completing Fundies class I went diving to check out the new skills and felt like a whole different, more competent diver. My buoyancy and trim were 1000x better than before I took the class. Diving with fellow GUE divers was especially nice since we all had the same equipment and dive procedures. GUE Fundies is now easily my favorite dive class I have taken.  Everyone should take this class, whether you dive recreationally or want to progress into tech/cave diving in the future.


Neil – GUE Fundamentals Tech Pass Graduate

neal and kathySoon after gaining my Open water and Advanced open water certifications I noticed a general lack of control and safety in not only myself but the people I was diving with. I began my search for something more and eventually came across GUE  where I was initially impressed by divers who had extreme control through their kicks. After taking the plunge in Primer and then Fundamentals, I learned there was far more to GUE than just cool kicks. A whole system of diving built around team and a conservative mindset.

Kathy later became my friend, dive buddy and mentor. Her passion for diving and the GUE way of diving is undeniable. From the start Kathy’s determination in building real community was clear. She spent countless hours in the water with me helping to prepare me to earn my fundies tech pass.  We worked on skills endlessly, until I was ready. Her knowledge and skill level in all things GUE is extensive. I can’t speak highly enough about Kathy or GUE. So if you considering pursuing GUE diving, I highly recommend Kathy!


Bryan Holtz – GUE Fundamentals Rec Pass Graduate

I was about to give up the idea of entering the diving community. My first dive experience after my certification with PADI wasn’t a pleasant one and I didn’t want to have anything to do with diving until I met Kathy.


She reached out to me and informed me of GUE and their diving style. Being a military man I was instantly drawn to the structure and safe habits.  I have never met a more patient, knowledgeable and passionate person when it comes to diving. Kathy opened my eyes to how much fun diving can be when done right.

I’ve taken GUE classes and she is the reason I am diving today. She has grown a community of divers here in south Florida that are some of the best people I have met. Everyone has been very supportive from very experienced divers to the new GUE diver. It is really amazing how the GUE community helps everyone out.


Rick T – GUE Tech 1 & Project Baseline Diver

rick 2After nearly 30 years of diving I was introduced to GUE training.  I passed GUE Fundamentals in 2006 with only a provisional certification, a very humbling outcome but strong motivation to train, improve and earn a tech-pass. A year later I took the GUE Tech 1, earned a license to dive to 170 feet. Through the training I gained the understanding and confidence to do technical dives safely as a team and resolve our issues during the dive.

I have been diving with Kathy for a while, her commitment to GUE standards, her passion in nurturing new divers to success and building community impressed me. Through our diving she gently showed me areas where I had allowed my standards to slip. This awareness motivated me to refresh my training and re-commitment to the GUE system. Kathy has been developing and nurturing a local South Florida group of GUE divers of which I was soon an active participant.  She demonstrated her commitment to our local community with her out-reach and mentoring.


Through her comprehensive global vision, I started to understand how all the pieces of the GUE system fit together; training, team, local conservation, global community.  By activating GUE’s global network, this past year I have connected with GUE divers and instructors in Malta, Dubai and Auckland.  These divers have openly welcomed me, offering amazing dives, equipment, becoming great dive buddies and new friends. No matter what your certification level, engaging in GUE training allows divers the opportunity to connect with like-trained/like-minded divers half a world away! This synergy allows GUE members the ability to dive together for the first time knowing exactly what standards to anticipate in the water.